Andrew Zimmern's Reasoning For Not Being Afraid To Eat Poisonous Foods Checks Out

Andrew Zimmern is, without a doubt, one of the world's most fearless eaters. He's traveled the entire globe for the show "Bizarre Foods" and sampled the kind of regional delicacies not recommended by any tour guide, including grilled rats, spoiled shark meat, raw calf liver, and even lutefisk. No matter what he put in his mouth, though, he wasn't afraid that any of this food would actually kill him.

As Zimmern explained on ABC News "Nightline," he reasoned that the food that he was eating was regularly eaten by the people serving it to him. Whether it was toxic fish in Japan, poison frogs in Australia, or any of the numerous other foods, he never hesitated to take a bite because, as he said, "I trust the grandma standing next to me." Lucky for Zimmern, none of the grandmas he's encountered to date have been malicious pranksters, but by this point, he's sufficiently famous that there would be serious repercussions should anyone try to harm him.

That's not to say he's never been sick, though

Courageous though he may be, Andrew Zimmern did try to make sure that he wasn't putting himself at risk. As he told Bullz-Eye in an interview about "Bizarre Foods," he took a medical kit with him whenever he travels and he won't drink the water in India or Mexico. In an interview with The Daily Meal, he mentioned saying no to dubious-looking foods such as off-color chicken intestines (we're impressed that he even knows what a healthy chicken intestine looks like!) and also admitted in a Reddit AMA that he passed on the chance to try day-old placenta.

However, Zimmern did say he's suffered food poisoning on several occasions. The very worst one, he shared in that same AMA, was from eating mussels at what he called a "crappy restaurant" in Maine. He felt that if he'd been on the road, he wouldn't have gotten sick. Although he didn't go on to clarify whether this is because he thought American food safety isn't up to par with that of developing nations or he simply took more precautions when traveling, Redditors assumed the former was true. In a follow-up AMA, though, Zimmern revealed that he contracted a virus that gave him recurring burning mouth syndrome (which is pretty much what it sounds like) from cumin he ate in Northern Africa. How weird is it that of all the unusual things Zimmern's ever ingested, one of his worst experiences was with a familiar spice?